King of Moab, when the Israelites were drawing near the promised land. He was filled with terror lest they should attack and destroy him, as they had Sihon and Og, and implored the soothsayer Balaam to come and curse them. His fears and his devices were both in vain, De 2:9. See BALAAM. He found he had nothing to fear from Israel if at peace with them, and nothing to hope if at war with them.
empty; spoiler, a son of Zippor, and king of the Moabites (Nu 22:2,4). From fear of the Israelites, who were encamped near the confines of his territory, he applied to Balaam (q.v.) to curse them; but in vain (Jos 24:9).
("vain, empty, son of Zipper".) Not hereditary king, but imposed on Moab by Sihon. (See BALAAM; HUR (2).) His employment of Balaam to curse Israel was near the close of Israel's journeying. His knowing as to the seer in Mesopotamia would imply a circulation of intelligence, great considering the times. Moab's descent from Lot, originally of Mesopotamia; also the merchant caravans passing across the deserts; also the advanced civilization of Moab in letters, proved by the Moabite stone some centuries later: all make it intelligible. Finding Israel "too mighty" for him (Nu 22:6), and his hope of prevailing by Balaam's enchantments being disappointed, he let them alone thenceforth. His "warring against Israel" (Jos 24:9-10) consisted not in "fighting," which is denied in Jg 11:25, but in hiring Balak against them.